In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, it can be tough to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some forecasts for 2016 that can help your brand keep a leg up on the competition.

Branding – A Key Focus

To consumers, many businesses are starting to blend together. It’s not enough to run a catchy ad or put forward a strong social media campaign. Now is the time for differentiation.

What makes your company unique? It’s time to clarify in the minds of consumers what your organization stands for. Reevaluate brand values, goals, and mission to make your name stand out.

Focus on Consumer Relationships

Consumers often base decisions on trust. Mass marketing is giving way to targeted campaigns. Buyers want to see that your brand knows what they want and when they want it. Focus on creating a customer for life rather than on making a quick sale. 2016 is the year to look ahead to a lifetime value.

Improve the Customer Experience of Your Brand

Customers are demanding experiences over products. That means selling a product involves creating an experience for the consumer to enjoy it in. The value of consumer experience cannot be overstated.

More people than ever are looking at online reviews to make good purchasing decisions. Those reviews are being made by customers, so be sure the experience is worth a positive review.

“Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain”

Those are words no consumer wants to hear. They want to see the Wizard, as it were, and that means complete transparency. If your brand portrays its values one way but resorts to practice that are not in harmony with those values, consumers will look for a more genuine seller. The fact is that the truth behind scandals will find its way to the news and online. Brands need to be ready to be honest with consumers.

Content, Content, Content

2016 is the year of content. If it was king before, now content is the whole royal family. The key focus in 2016 is to make your brand the expert in your field. Quality means authority and search ranking, so don’t skimp. Also, be sure to use content to develop your brand’s community, even fostering consumer creation.